Villagers join dragon dancing to mark the Chinese New Year in Qingfeng village, Honglan neighborhood, Lishui District, Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu Province, Feb. 16. (Photo by Gu Changwang/People’s Daily Online)
Splendid activities were held both online and offline around the world to celebrate the Spring Festival, in hope of an auspicious Year of the Ox. Foreign dignitaries and heads of international organizations also sent greetings to Chinese people and overseas Chinese amid the Spring Festival.
As foreign media reported, the high attention attached on the Chinese oriented festival by global countries heralds solidarity and strength in the extraordinary Year of the Ox.
Chinese people’s love for their families and country was well observed during the past Spring Festival. To better control the COVID-19 pandemic, over 100 million Chinese chose to skip returning home for the Chinese New Year, a festival that is considered the most important occasion for family reunion throughout the year.
From Jan. 28 to Feb. 11, a total of 52.33 million railway passenger trips were made, down by 116 million or 68.8 percent from a year ago.
However, China’s courier industry collected and shipped 365 million express packages between Feb. 11, the Chinese New Year’s Eve and Feb. 15, surging 224 percent year on year. Such figures mirrored the strength of “harmony.” As Spanish news outlet El País remarked, China has entered the post-pandemic era.
Besides, the Chinese people’s caring for the whole mankind also touched the world. The country’s sincere and active contribution to the global efforts to fight the pandemic didn’t stop amid the Chinese New Year holiday, and the strength of “harmony” flowed to every corner of the globe.
When attending a webinar to mark the Spring Festival, Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin spoke highly of the cooperation between China and Ireland to fight COVID-19. He expressed his thanks to China for assisting his country to purchase anti-pandemic materials.
Pakistani President Arif Alvi also thanked China for helping Pakistan fight the pandemic and hailed the long-lasting friendship between the two countries.
Vice President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue remarked the mutual assistance between Equatorial Guinea and China has left an indelible chapter of friendship when receiving vaccines donated by China.
Many other state leaders also wished bigger successes of China in the new year, which demonstrates that the growth of China is a growth of peaceful power, and the country is bound to constantly make newer and greater contributions to the noble cause of peace and development.
The happy and harmonious festivity brought warmth to the world haunted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Landmarks in New York, Tokyo and other places of the world were lighted to celebrate the Spring Festival. Dragon dancing and acrobatics shows were staged on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand after the country made this year’s Spring Festival a legal holiday for the first time ever. Singapore hosted online Chingay, which means the art of costume and masquerade, themed “Light of Hope.” The event was joined by over 150 organizations and 2,000 people.
Though countries celebrated the festival in different forms, they shared the same aspiration for a better life and encouraged each other to build the planet into a more beautiful place.
Ox signifies diligence, sacrifice, endeavor and strength in Chinese culture. To strive like an ox and respond to challenges with concrete efforts is a common aspiration of the world.
“The ox symbolizes energy, strength, and courage. These qualities are what the world needs now,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a video message for the Spring Festival.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the ox has a positive outlook, and this made her optimistic that together the world can overcome what is still a global crisis.
Deputy Director-General Karl Brauner of the WTO remarked that the Year of the Ox will be a year of recovery.
People across the world are wishing for a harmonious, smooth and auspicious year. On the global stage, China, by upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, will sincerely join hands with global partners for closer cooperation and a better future.